Anger is neither legitimate nor illegitimate, meaningful nor pointless. Anger simply is.
To ask, “Is my anger legitimate?” is similar to asking, “Do I have the right to be thirsty? After all, I just had a glass of water fifteen minutes ago. Surely my thirst is not legitimate. And besides, what’s the point of getting thirsty when I can’t get anything to drink now, anyway?”
Anger is something we feel.
It exists for a reason and always deserves our respect and attention.
We all have a right to everything we feel—and certainly our anger is no exception.
All feelings, whether we label them as “good” or not, exist for a reason.Pain shows us what to pay attention to.
Pay attention to all your feelings, without judgment. They might hold some answers for you.
There are a lot of ways to do this, but one of the easiest is to check in with yourself before hitting “send” on an email, Facebook post, tweet, or text.
Take 10 seconds to ponder these questions before you send:
Am I feeling defensive? Reactive? Angry?
What is my emotional state?
Would I say this to someone in person?
Is there a chance my tone could be misinterpreted, or that I have misinterpreted theirs?
It’s easy to compose a reactive response, forgetting that there is a human being on the other end of the screen. Emotional intelligence is a powerful muscle to build, especially with more and more interactions happening digitally.
In the long term, practicing digital emotional intelligence can set you up for more positive in-person interactions.
The Relationship Minute From The Gottman Institute, dated 23 April 2019. You can sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.
Maybe the 2011 Superbowl commercial from Snickers had a point that “You are not you when you’re hungry.” A study out of Ohio State University proposed that low blood sugar can make spouses touchy and a snack could prevent major fights between husbands and wives. Psychology researcher Brad Bushman stated that it can make them “hangry,” a combination of hungry and angry.
“We need glucose for self-control,” said Bushman, lead author of the study, which was released Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “Anger is the emotion that most people have difficulty controlling.”
The researchers studied 107 married couples for three weeks. Each night, they measured their levels of the blood sugar glucose and asked each participant to stick pins in a voodoo doll representing his or her spouse. That indicated levels of aggressive feelings.